Clove oil is an essential oil and flavoring primarily used in foods, dental analgesics, and personal care products.
Skin contact with clove oil is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing clove oil should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the U.S. for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of your skin care products for this ingredient. If there is not enough information, ask your pharmacist or retailer, or contact the company directly. At work, request a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.
The avoidance of fragrances and flavoring agents such as clove oil can be difficult, since so many everyday products contain these substances. One should use only fragrance-free cosmetic and household products. “Unscented” products may contain low levels of a fragrance to cover up an undesirable odor and also should be avoided. Products labeled as “hypoallergenic” do not assure that the product is truly free of fragrance.
Although it is rare, since some fragrances are also flavors, foods can sometimes cause flare-ups of dermatitis in fragrance-sensitive individuals. If your health care provider has diagnosed that you have oral or lip allergies to flavorings, it would be best to avoid foods prepared with clove oil.
Direct contact with foods or products containing clove oil may cause symptoms including burning, irritation, and redness. Direct contact may occur on the skin, lips, or mouth. Although it is rare, it is possible that ingestion of this substance could cause generalized symptoms such as itching or redness of the skin.